By Michael Rich
Luke Barber struck out eight and Joey Velazquez homered to power St. Francis DeSales past the Buckeye Valley baseball team 5-1 Tuesday in Delaware.
“We gave up five runs to a stellar — a very good hitting St. Francis DeSales team — a very good perennial power in the Central District,” BV coach Adam Hall said.
Barber shut the Barons (0-2) out over five innings on just three hits to go with his eight strikeouts.
“I think (Barber) throws hard, I think he throw well — I think he was spotting his fastball,” Hall said. “When you can throw a curveball for a strike, it’s hard to beat that when you’re placing your fastball where you want.”
Nick Cooper doubled to left on Barber’s first pitch of the game, but he recovered to strikeout the side to end the BV threat.
“We got to get aggressive at the plate — we can’t let fastballs go by us,” Hall said.
Cooper had two hits and drove in the Barons’ only run on a single to center with the bases loaded in the seventh.
Velazquez and Barber each drove in a run and had two hits apiece to lead the Stallions (5-1).
Josh Dodds pitched solidly for the Barons. He danced around a double in the first and a pair of singles and a walk in the second without surrendering a run.
But, Brennan Alas and Barber opened the third with back-to-back doubles to plate a run. Dodds retired the next three in order with Barber stranded at second.
He allowed four runs, two earned, on seven hits and three walks with a pair of strikeouts and took the loss. Dodds is a senior and is playing his first year on the varsity team.
“Josh Dodds comes out for us … and just throws a gem in my mind,” Hall said. “He keeps them right on the front foot … keeps them off balance – a lot of curveballs, a lot of off-speed (and) a lot of popups – just a phenomenal job by Josh Dodds, I can’t say enough about him.”
Valazquez hammered a one-out pitch over the left field wall to extend the lead to 2-0. Greg Gilbert followed with a hit and ended up scoring on an error to extend the lead to three.
Nick Smith and Gilbert each worked walks in the sixth inning to chase Dodds before another error gave the Stallions a 4-0 lead through six.
Ryan Corkrean added a sacrifice fly in the seventh to cap the scoring for the Stallions.
BV continues MOAC play at home against North Union today at 5 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette